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Nov 14, 2018 | By Thomas
New Zealand’s Callaghan Innovation unveiled Laminated Resin Printing (LRP) – a new 3D printing technology that enables rapid prototyping of high-resolution microscale structures.
Laminated Resin Printing (LRP) makes it fast, easy and affordable for researchers, developers and manufacturers to create a wide range of printed structures for applications such as electronics, wearables, sensors, IoT devices and more.
It enables developers to print submillimeter structures with complex geometries of up to 100 per cent density, in extraordinary low-layer thicknesses and with imaging speeds as quick as one second per layer independent of complexity or density, Callaghan said. Co-inventors Andrea Bubendorfer and Andrew Best developed LRP to address the need to rapidly produce microscale structures in an efficient, convenient and cost-effective way.
“Microfabrication – the production of very small high-value devices – is an export industry for New Zealand. Until now, however, making these miniature structures has been slow and expensive,” Co-inventors Andrea Bubendorfer said.
"By comparison, 3D printing has transformed how we make things, but it can’t operate on the small scale needed for microfabrication," she added. Bubendorfer and co-inventor set out to develop ways to address the need to rapidly produce microscale structures in an efficient, convenient and cost-effective way. "And by small, we’re talking 5 microns. For context, a human hair is about 100 microns."
The MicroMaker3D team received support from IDTechEx Launchpad initiative and KiwiNet through funding, programmes, and advice; engineering expertise provided by the Mechatronics Engineers at the Massey University Centre for Additive Manufacturing and the Callaghan Innovation Advanced Engineering team; and advice and encouragement from Johan Potgieter (Professor of Robotics at Massey University and expert in additive manufacturing) and Olaf Diegel (Professor of Product Development and world-renowned 3D printing expert). The project has attracted a further $684,000 of pre-seed funding from KiwiNet.
Callaghan Innovation MicroMaker3D team
LRP is a versatile technology for printing:
• Standalone planar structures (shadow masks, optical slits, optical encoders, filters, meshes, etc.)
• Structures on paper, fabric and PCB substrates (wearables, disposable microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip devices)
• Printed electronic masks
• Miniature 3D prints (microcomponentry, MEMS springs)
• Overhang structures in elastic material – ideal for microsensor components
The technology is highly functional:
• Affordable and easy to use
• Fast, with imaging speeds of seconds per layer independent of complexity or density
• No cleanroom is required
• Scalable from prototype to production using the same high-quality material
LRP excels in:
• Rapid prototyping for applications where size and weight matter
• 5-micron voxel printing with high accuracy and complexity
• Printing single layer and multilayer structures
• Producing prints with extreme thermal and chemical resistance
• Printing on a variety of substrates: paper, fabric, silicon wafers, PCBs
The technology is being used to produce a range of structures. Examples include:
• Sharks skin, textured surfaces
• Microwell plates
• Stencils, such as for microwave antenna
• Micro filters
• Microcomponents, such as gears, lever sprints, needle pointers, circlips
• Patterned conductive tracks
• Encapsulated structures.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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